New Mexico vs. Nevada Preview: Keys For A Lobos Victory
Lobos are “hosting”Wolf Pack
Can Lobos get a win?
WEEK 11: Nevada Wolf Pack (3-0) vs. New Mexico Lobos (0-2)
WHEN: Saturday, November 14 — 3:30 PM PT/4:30 PM MT
WHERE: Sam Boyd Stadium; Las Vegas, NV
STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, including FS2, by following this link.
You can also find the audio broadcast on TuneIn.
RADIO: The Nevada broadcast can be found in and around Reno on 94.5 FM and elsewhere on the Wolf Pack Radio Network. The New Mexico broadcast can be found on the Lobo Radio Network’s affiliates, including flagship 96.3 FM and 770 AM (KKOB) in Albuquerque.
SERIES RECORD: Nevada leads the series 4-3-1. In the last meeting on November 2, 2019, the Wolf Pack defeated the Lobos, 24-10, in Reno.
LAST WEEK: Nevada scored a 34-9 victory over Utah State at home, while New Mexico lost on the road against Hawaii, 39-33.
ODDS (as of 11/10, via BetMGM: Nevada -17
Three Keys to a New Mexico Victory
1.Put pressure on Carson Strong.
Lobo head coach Danny Gonzales thinks that Nevada’s Carson Strong might be the best quarterback in the MW and his numbers prove that.
Strong has had five straight games with over 300 passing yards for the Wolf Pack, ranking their offense second in the nation in passing yards (397.0 ypg) and 13th in total offense (511.7 ypg).
Strong’s numbers are quite impressive with an average of nine yards per attempt, a 171.68 passing rating and a 73.3% completion rate with 1,181 yards, nineTDs and no picks.
Another 300-yard passing game would put Strong atop the conference record books; he is also just 25 pass attempts short of breaking Carr’s record of most consecutive throws without an interception at 306. Strong is sitting at 282.
The Lobo defense can ill afford to give Strong time in the pocket and let him pick apart the secondary.
UNM’s secondary has been bad, and I mean really bad, at giving up the big plays in the first two games of the season.
The Lobos are giving up 445.5 yards per game, the worst in the nation by 64.5 yards as this weekend’s game approach.
What should help the Lobos is starting cornerback Donte Martin will make his first start of the season after missing the first two games (academics). He started all 12 games in 2019 for the Lobos in that position, which should provide some secondary help.
Also, with the addition of safety Nico Bolden and DB Jerrick Reed, who had two interceptions last week, Rocky Long defense should be better defending the pass.
The Lobos aggressive 3-3-5 unit really needs to not only contain Strong and not give him time in the pocket, but also limit the big plays that have been its Achilles heel this year.
Strong and the Nevada passing game will give the Lobos all they can handle, so pressure on the QB will be critical to keep this game from getting out of hand.
2. Run the ball with a solid core of running backs.
The Lobo offense under coordinator Derek Warehime has been a strength for the team this year and revolves around the running game.
The Lobo offense is second in the Mountain West in total offense at 6.3 yards per play and 417 yards per game, and first in the conference in red zone offense, scoring every time it has penetrated inside the opponents’ 20.
True freshman running back Nathaniel Jones and junior Bobby Cole both had solid performances last week against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors running the ball.
Jones had 96 yards rushing and a touchdown on 13 carries in his first college football game. Cole ran for a career-high 96 yards on 14 attempts.
Last week the Lobos put up 499 yards of offense with 279 of those on the ground, Senior wide receiver Jordan Kress had 93 receiving yards and two touchdowns on just three catches.
3. Get a solid performance from quarterback Trae Hall.
Lobo starting quarterback Tuioti will be out for Saturday’s game as he is in concussion protocol after last week’s game against the Rainbow Warriors.
Tuioti provided quite a spark for Warehime’s Lobo offense, going 17-of-31 for 181 yards and two touchdowns, and 71 yards rushing against Hawaii last week.
So, it will be very important for the Hall to step in and not allow the offensive production to fall for the Lobos.
Trae Hall a 6-2, 195-pound redshirt sophomore from Henderson Texas, is excited about the opportunity to lead the Lobo offense.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to show my skill set and what I can do on the field, and obviously Tevaka has been a great person to lead me and show me what things to do and not to do. He has been a great leader for me, and now he said it’s my time to shine and my time to go out there and take over for the team and help them get a win.”
Hall was 2 of 6 for 39 yards with a pick late against Hawaii and 15 of 28 last season with four TDs and one interception.
Hall started his first game for the Lobos in last year’s season finale against Utah State when the Lobos lost 38-25 to cap a 2-10 season.
He led the team in rushing with 115 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. He also threw two touchdown passes. Hall completed 10 of his 21 passes for 107 yards to go with two interceptions.
What should help him is the offensive line for the Lobos, anchored by 6-6, 322-pound Teton Saltes and 6-3, 300-pound Kyle Stapley, who are the strength of a line that has been effective for the Lobos in both the running and passing game for the Lobos.
It would do well for the Lobo offense to move the chains to control the time of possession and keep the Wolf Pack offense off the field as much as possible.
You can bet the Wolf Pack will do all they can to put pressure on Hall with his limited game experience.
What should really help him is his athleticism and arm strength. He has been champing at the bits to get his chance to lead these Lobos, so his time to shine is here.